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Marist College

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What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

I would say choose a college where you feel comfortable.. even if it's not the 'best' for your intended major. I am at a college that isn't really known for chemistry but I am glad I came to a small school and am able to get to know the teachers better then if I was at a big school. Now these teachers can write me really good recommendation letters which will help me go to a good graduate school. College was a big learning experience and opportunity for growth is everywhere. I would recommend getting involved in clubs and activities to not only meet new people but to start developing into the person you want to be. Don't worry too much about going out all the time there are plenty of other things to do on the weekends but a night out is sometimes fun, just always be safe because there have been really bad things that have happened. Overall, focus on your studies but don't become too stressed that you are not enjoying the whole college experience.

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If I could go back and talked to myself as a senior I would have told myself to connect my community service activities more directly to my major. I would have told myself to take advantage of school activities and resources, through work-study, volunteering, and school projects, that would give me skills in m planned college major. I would have convinced myself that this would make my resume stronger as a college freshman and give me the ability to actually apply for college level internships in my career interest and college major as a college freshman. I would have talked myself into a college level freshman writing class over my summer before college even if the class was not for college credit. Taking the course would have made me that much more prepared for my first year. I might have talked to myself about considering spending a few weeks out of my summer before college actually living on a college campus to help get prepared for campus life.

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Parents and students often enter the college search process with a neatly prioritized list of requirements: size, location, Greek life, housing, academic breadth...the lists can trail on forever. I know because that's how I started my college search process four years ago. With such systematic criteria, many wonder how they'll decide between colleges with differing pros and cons - or if no school fills all their boxes! The answer is simple: you'll feel it when you see the right one. It's impossible to describe that feeling: chills down your spine, the lightbulb flashing on in your mind, whatever you want to call it - everything just clicks. That's why it's so important to visit all or most of the schools to which you've applied; a school that checks off all of your little boxes may just not meld with your personality once you've set foot on campus. So go ahead, make your lists as a starting point - but remember, "the click" will have the final say!

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When I was looking into colleges back in the day, I hadn't a clue as to how it should be done. I didn't even know what major I would be taking or what I would be interested in doing as a job. I just wanted to find a well-rounded school that I would feel comfortable at. So, I looked into liberal arts schools that were small in size. Marist came out as my top choice. My advice to anyone looking for a college is to find a college ideal for the person's career path and to visit the school itself. Picking a school famous for engineering when one wants to be an accountant is a foolish decision. Compiling a list of potential schools is what I did for my college process. This list and I were inseperable. Also, it is important to visit the schools on this list. A school may be nice in a pamphlet but different once one steps foot on campus. You have to feel a positive vibe once visiting. Afterall, it'll be your home for the next 2, 4 or even more years.

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When looking at my college experience and seeing how far I have come, I truly feel blessed because it has and/or will open doors as a pursue my education further. As i look back on the things i have done so far, i feel as though college has given me a beter standing as far as interpreting or comprehending select materials. I also have been able to network with many people to further see the career path i am looking to move towards. One of the main reasons I feel college has been very valuable to attend, is due to the fact that college not only keeps your mind functioning in a learning aspect, but it also helps you gain other knowledge of things you will learn further along in life such as the career that is choosen or maybe even daily life experiences. College has and is changing my life for the better, with out I would no have aken the leaps that i did, if it were not for the people around me to support as well as push me to do better.

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I would first tell myself that money doesn't just appear out of thin air, it is so important to be smart with your money and plan ahead. I should have been saving the money I made instead of spending it on unneccessary food, clothes, and video games. Had I realized the financial mountain that I would have to climb attending college, I would have applied for scholorships and saved a portion of every paycheck I recieved. Another important idea that I would reiterate to myself would be to relax, college isn't scary! It is filled with fun memories and great people. Making new friends in college isn't hard, most colleges are very accommodating towards freshman and host many meet-and-greet events. While I felt alone and scared I failed to realize that all of the other freshman were in the same position as me. Even if the idea of making new friends scares you, you'll always have your friends and family at home to help you through anything.

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Worst day ever: I got a big fat “no” from my dream school. And boy, did I cry. I was top of my class, president of the student body, a big fish in the pond. I thought I had the world on a string and was sitting on a rainbow, and this letter of denial just crushed me. I told my parents I didn’t want to go to college anymore and that my life was over. In the end, going to my second choice was the best decision for me. I am so happy at Marist College with the education I am receiving and the friends I have made. So what I would’ve loved to tell high school senior me was that you are not the best of the best, there are always going to people who are better than you, but this should only encourage you to strive to be even better. And when things don’t work out it just means to try again or choose another path. College is for maturing, growing as an individual, and learning from others and you must be open minded in order to do so.

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The best advice I can give is to try and figure out what majors you may be interested in. I know it is hard to know what you what to be at the age of searching for a college, but at least have a feel for a few majors you might like, and make sure the school has all of them. Once I got to my school I realized they didn't have a major I wanted to test out. I ended up staying but comtemplated transfering for a while. Also the size is important. Try to figure out your learning style, if you prefer small class or stadium style classes. This will help you from feeling trapped at a small school or lost at a large one. Once you get to the school you choose it is important to look for friends with the same values as you. You are going to want to find people who are at school to graduate and get a degree too, this way when you need to focus on your work they will let you do it, and hold off on pressuring you to go out.

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So how do you know when you've found the right college? It's really quite simple. For me, it was all about the emotional attachment I felt for the school. When I first visited the school I am currently attending I just knew it was the one for me. I felt like I belonged, as if I could see my future panning out right before my eyes. It's really quite amazing when you feel so strongly about being a part of something. That's definitely what did it for me. As for making the most of the college experience it's really all about opening up and maintaining a positive outlook. College should be remembered for the great friends you make and the amazing things you accomplish but they will never be achieved if you're afraid to break out of your normal mold. Sometimes it's all about putting yourself out there and trying things you never thought you would do. That is what really makes the experience so memorable.

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Students should first research colleges that suit what they like to do best and what will lend itself to a career, not what will make them the most money. After researching and narrowing the search down, visit those schools as sometimes the look and feel of a campus can make you want to stay forever or get back to the car as soon as you can. When you visit them, try to see if you can talk to professors and not just be led along a tour, although the tours are very helpful. Think about location, your intended major, and possible hobbies you want to continue to nourish at school when deciding and apply to at least two schools within your price range and that you can reasonably be accepted to. Once you are at your school do not be afraid to put yourself out there to meet new people, befriend professors, and work at being the best you can be, don't rely on anyone else but know there are people to help you along.

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